British Columbia's trauma & crime scene cleanup specialists since 1998

Drug and meth lab cleanup

Although invisible to the human eye, highly poisonous drugs and chemical residues will remain present on the majority of surfaces in a meth lab, causing a large amount of harm. Professional remediation is required to ensure the safe and effective disposal of these materials.

Drug lab decontamination should only be performed by certified professionals who can guarantee the quality and safety of their work.

*** If you suspect a clandestine drug lab operation, Leave the area immediately; do not enter the premises or investigate yourself. Contact your local Emergency Services at 911 for the safest course of action.***

Overview of a drug lab

The manufacture of illegal drugs, including methamphetamine (meth) involves the use of volatile, corrosive, and highly toxic chemicals that can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. 

Makeshift labs may be found in houses, apartments, hotel rooms, rented vehicles, travel trailers, and abandoned buildings. When a drug lab is discovered by authorities, the bulk of lab-related materials may be removed. Although the area may seem safe, there are small amounts of chemicals that will contaminate surfaces, drains, ventilation systems, materials, sinks, and other spaces. These chemicals can be hazardous to your health and should always be handled by a qualified professional.

Drug lab decontamination is a complex and hazardous process that involves the removal of traces and residues of illicit substances from a property. Because these labs are very harmful to life and health, they should be handled carefully by trained professional CDL (clandestine drug lab) contractors. 

10 step process in drug lab decontamination

Secure the property

If you come upon a suspected drug lab, notify local Police and Fire of the discovery. Local hazmat teams will remove hazardous chemicals and drug paraphernalia. Appropriate levels of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and mandatory health and safety training are required for entering contaminated locations.


Meth laboratories must be ventilated with fresh air by opening doors and windows and utilizing blowers or negative air units with HEPA filtration. Before and during remediation, HVAC systems must be deactivated to prevent recontamination.


Sampling prior to remediation can identify contaminated areas and provide a scope of work that can be utilized to estimate costs. HVAC systems should be included in the testing process in addition to all high-touch and hard surfaces. All hazardous substances can be identified at this stage.

Scope of work

Develop a remediation strategy based on the pre-test results. The scope of work will involve the length of time to complete the project, the steps involved, identifying specific challenges, determining the labour complement required, and determining a cost to complete. We provide a written estimate outlining the details of your specific project.

Contaminated content removal

A remediation strategy may involve removal, cleaning and discarding of contents; meth paraphernalia should have been removed from the space. Carpets and underlay may need to be removed and properly disposed of.

Hard surface cleaning

Following the removal of the carpet, vacuum the floors and walls if possible with a commercial HEPA-filtered vacuum. Wash walls and hard surfaces with appropriate cleaning supplies.


Immediately deactivate the HVAC system. Examine all areas and rooms served by the system for signs of contamination. Inspect ducts for buildup. The ventilation contractor will be responsible for further cleaning of the HVAC system. 


Clean ceilings, walls, counters, furnishings, and floors with specified, approved products.


Sealing polluted walls with primers and paint can provide further protection, but only after thorough cleaning has been completed.


Clearance testing is critical in determining whether the space has been returned to a safe and habitable condition. A re-occupancy certificate (or certificate of clearance issued by an industrial hygienist) may be required.

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Possible Health Effects from drug Lab Chemical Exposure

High levels of exposure to chemicals over a short period of time can cause death or severe damage to your body.

If you suspect that you might have come across a clandestine drug lab, don’t take any risks to your health. 1st Trauma Scene Clean Up will effectively and safely clean up any illicit drug labs so you can carry on without additional worry. Contact us here to schedule your clean up or learn more, or call us at (604)598.8887